Kad he been there? Why the sud-
den attack? With a bitter curse,
Owen realized that the answer was
there in the room — something the
fellow had come for. It was still
there, if his attacker had not de-
stroyed the evidence.
But the devil of it was, Owen
didn't know what that evidence was.
There were lots of questions about
the murder of Terry Reis— despite
the doctor's verdict, Owen still iii*
sisted it was murder— that he
couldn't answer. But of one thingr
he was sure. The person who had
slugged him was the killer!
The room was exactly as he had
first seen it when he entered some
few minutes before — exactly as it
had been left last night.^ Nothing
was disturbed. Owen dismissed the
watchman and went over the room
with a fine-tooth comb. He found
many things, but not the thing he
looked for. Method for murder.
With a sullen growl he started
for the door. A pair of boxing
gloves was lying on the floor. He
had liked Terry Beis— liked him
a hell of a lot. And now the kid
had made his last fight and lost —
lost to the greatest champion of all,
Owen was a sentimentalist at
heart. Those leather gloves, the
symbol of the champ's last fight,
stirred something in his heart. He
picked them up, tucked them under
his arm. He would keep them as a
souvenir. A souvenir of the fight
THEN a vague thought stirred in
his mind. He pounced upon it,
elaborated it. Those gloves — lying on
the floor. They had been hanging
high on the wall just before his
assailant landed on him.
His eyes became preternaturally
sharp, his brain hot, as he worked
it at top speed. Then inspiration
struck and something clicked in his
mind that sent him out of there on
A half -hour later, Owen barged
impetuously into the office of the
Medical Examiner. Dr. Dur^nt
looked up from his desk, smiled and
shoved -a box of cigars across his
desk toward the detective. "You still
think Reis was murdered?"
*'l do that!" growled Owen. *'More
He selected a cigar with great
care, bit off the end.
"Listen, Doc," he beg'an. "I want
you to do me a favor. I know the
doctor up at the ringside said it
was heart failure ; and I know you
agreed with that. But, as a pal, per-
form an autopsy for me?"
Dr. Durant looked puzzled.
"You're serious. YouVe got some-
OWEN pursed his lips.
"I got an idea. If Fm right-^
somebody will burn for the job!'*
Dr. Durant had worked with
Owen before. He knew the futility
of asking questions.
"What do you want me to test the
body for first?" he asked.
Durant rose from his chair,
nodded crisply towards his desk,
"There's a box of cigars. Sit down*
Owen waited an impatient hour.
Then the door opened. He jumped to
"So what?" he snapped.
Dr. Durant's face was sober.
"You were right." He nodded his
head. "There was poison. Murder!"
"What kind of poison?"
"The most swift, sure and deadly
Owen's face was a grim, implac-i
iable mask as he started for the
door. Durant caught him by the
arm. "But, gosh, Owen, Kbw could
anyone administer cyanide to him
in the ring before fifty thousand
people? It acts instanteneously* It
could not have been administered to
him before the fight started. Why —
why— it's impossible V*
"Yeah?" flung back Owen. "That's
what everybody thought."
"But how was it done?"
"I don't know, but I'm going to
damn soon find out. What's the test
"A simple one." Durant scrawled
rapidly on a sheet of paper. "Here's
all the information you will need."
"Thanks, Doc," said Owen as he
stuffed the paper into his pocket*
"It looks like you're going to be a
witness at a murder trial.''
AT PRECISELY eleven o'clock.the
following morning, Detective
Owen strolled casually into Billy
Hillman's gymnasium on 42nd St
A bulk>, unimportant looking pack-
age, wrapped in newspaper, was
carried carelessly under one arm, ^
A cigar cocked jauntily out of
one corner of his mouth, he looked
genially about him. At the far end
of the room, gathered around a
ring, was a little knot of men.
They shifted uncomfortably at the
Owen greeted them affably.
"Hi, Kilbain — hi, Martin, nice of
you to come."
"Nice, eh?" Kilbain sneered.
"Don't hand me that line. WeVe
been tailed ever since you streeted
us last night. When are you going
to take the *eyes' off us?"
Owen laughed but didn't answer.
Battling Hart, the new champion,
was punching a bag in the ring.
Owen turned to him, waved a
friendly greeting, walked over to
where Rapp and Pinelli were talking.
They looked up.
"Well, Rapp, anything to say
iabout that insurance policy?"
Rapp ran the point of a dry
tongue over drier lips. "Honest to
"Save it." Owen tunned to Kart^
who was now skipping rope, jerked
his head. "Come here a minute/'
Hart dropped the rope, crossed
over, and climbed through the
ropes. "Still in training, eh?" asked
The other smiled, nodded his
head. "Sure, why not? I'm the
"Yeah," said Owen. 'Tm going
to do a little training myself."
He took the package from under
his arm, "^shook off the paper, re-
vealing a pair of boxing gloves.
"You better do some training with
your brains,'* Kilbain sneered.
"Yeah," mocked Martin. "You^re
all right on the muscle work, but
when it comes to the bean — "
"Razzing me because I thought
one of you bumped Reis? Well, my
brainwork might not be as good as
my footwork, but it isn't so bad.
All I need now is a couple of
rounds to stimulate it."
He held up the gloves.
"Recognize these. They were used
last night in the fight. I'm keeping
*em for a souvenir. You're first, Kil-
bain— how about going a couple of
rounds with me."
"Why don't you pick on some-
body your size?" Kilbain sneered.
Owen sized him up. He did have
the edge on the gambler.
"But hell," continued the other*
"I ought to be able to last one
round with you."
"No; you'd be a set-up for me."
He turned to Martin. "How about
Martin tensed his bulging biceps.
"And how!" he accepted readily.
"Nothing would please me better
than to take a sock at you. Only I
wish I could put a horseshoe into
Rapp stepped forward. "What
about me, Owen?" he offered. "I
wouldn't mind taking a rap at you."
Pinelli, a short, squat Italian,
sized up the detective-
**And I think I could take you,
myself," he decided. "What do you
think of that?"
Owen grinned tolerantly, "ril
give you all a chance later."
Then his eyes became cold. He
whirled on the new champ.
"How about you, Hart? These
mugs are too easy for me." He
shaved the gloves in his hands be-
for the other's nose. "Just a couple
of rounds with these gloves. What
do you say?"
Hart never said it with words.
He lashed out suddenly with his
fist. Owen rolled under the blow,
ducked, side-stepped — closed* Sud-
den commotion — chaos!
In two swift, savage blows. Hart
gave Owen another cauliflower e&r.
The detective took it, bored in. His
iron fist sank deep into the cham-
HART grunted, his knee came up in
a foul blow, caught the detective
in the groin. Owen slumped. Hart
wrestled him, mauled him, smashed
his fist to the detective's jaw. Then
with a sudden movement he
wrenched at the gun on Owen's
hip. Owen was groggy, but he was
just beginning to fight. That savage
jerk on the gun in his holster
lashed him to furious life. His left
hand froze to Hart's wrist, clung
there desperately. His right slashed
forward in a sledgehammer blow.
Hart's knees buckled.
Owen's fist moved with the speed
of a rapier and with the kick of a
mule. It landed flush on the point
of the champion's chin. He went down
slowly, joint by joint. His eyes
glazed over. The detective stood
panting over him.
"That was the punch Reis was
going to give you — just before you
murdered him I" he gritted.
He whirled furiously on the
others. "Anybody else?"
But no one accepted the challenge.
They were too shocked, too dumb-
founded by the startling declaration
that had followed it.
"TVyTURDERED Reis, you said?"
iVi whispered Rapp.
"Right!" grated Owen.
"But how? There were a million
people there. Coppers, dicks— you
were sitting at the ringside."
"But he murdered him just the
same. Right before our eyes. Hart
was foxy, clever. He had plans of
his own. Most of all he wanted to be
champ. Well, he was, for a day.
This is how he did it He knew that
Reis had it fill over him like a tent.
So before going into the ring he put
some cyanide flakes on his shoes.
He rubbed those deadly crystals
into the resin in his corner.
"Then, in that last round, when
he was groggy and Reis knocked
him down, he rubbed his gloves in
that resin — in that deadly cyanide.
One tiny speck of it is deadly!"
"My God !" whispered Pinelli.
"Yes,^' growled Owen. "Hart's
blows never killed Terry Reis. It
was the cyanide on his gloves. He
brushed them against Terry's lips.
There was an open bruise there.
And it killed him instantly."
"How did you tumble to all
that?" asked Pinelli.
"I wouldn't have tumbled at all
if Hart hadn't tried to get rid of
the gloves. From then on it was a
cinch. That is, to figure out how Reis
was killed. But I still didn't know
which of you did it.
"So I staged that little training
session of mine. Hart was the only
one who didn't want to take a crack
at me — if I used these gloves."
"Hell!" said Martin with reluctant
admiration. "Your brain is as good
as your sock."